What is the ODCMG?

The Outdoor Discovery Center Macatawa Greenway (ODCMG) is a registered 501 (c)(3)non-profit education and conservation organization that was founded in the year 2000. Our purpose is to connect people with nature through outdoor education for the benefit of wildlife and the conservation of the natural world.

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We provide services in West Michigan and other communities as part of our Outdoor Discovery Network. Our business lines are illustrated in the diagram below.

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Our Work:

Since 2000, the organization has served more than 200,000 children and adults through outdoor education and recreation programs. More than 75,000 people annually visit ODCMG sites to walk the trails and view the wildlife. Thanks to the 2009 merger of the Outdoor Discovery Center and Macatawa Greenway Partnership the organization now protects over 1,200 acres along the Macatawa River in Ottawa County and a 150 acre nature preserve in Fillmore Township.

The Macatawa River Greenway project is an effort to protect the banks, floodplain forest, marsh, meadows and wetlands along the Macatawa River, the community’s main river. By protecting this continuous corridor for wildlife and plant habitat, the Greenway also significantly improves the quality of the waters flowing into Lake Macatawa and Lake Michigan. Throughout the Greenway, visitors will find wildlife viewing platforms and overlooks allowing visitors to view and explore the diverse Macatawa River environment.

The ODC Nature Preserve is free and open to the public and offers many diverse programs that help foster the concepts of wildlife management, conservation, outdoor education and preservation. Programs include: snowshoeing, live birds of prey, Michigan hunter’s safety, fishing, sensory nature walks, bird watching, ecosystem studies, archery, pond studies, summer camps, wildlife studies and exploring Michigan’s cultural past. In all of its educational programs, the ODCMG’s inquiry-based style of programming allows students to learn about and experience nature and culture in a hands-on manner.

We believe that:

  • We are the caretakers of our natural world
  • Unique natural places to experience the beauty and wonder of the environment are valuable resources to the community
  • There is value in restoring, protecting and connecting natural environments
  • Increased emphasis on the environment will improve the community’s quality of life
  • All people should engage in active and integrated learning to understand our environment and how to preserve it
  • People are happier, healthier and more satisfied if they have the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors
  • Promoting conservation and wildlife management will improve our ecosystems
  • We can influence current and future generations to make environmentally responsible decisions
  • Collaboration is the pathway to connecting and protecting our natural resources
  • Historical cultures and their interactions with the environment provide a perspective for life today. We support efforts to protect native resources and sites.